Midwest Briefs - Lawmakers propose biotechnology tax credits

Wisconsin State Farmer


Midwest briefs

Lawmakers propose biotechnology tax credits

Two Illinois lawmakers have proposed a plan to offer tax credits to biotechnology businesses in hopes of boosting agricultural jobs in central Illinois.

The legislation, introduced by Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose of Mahomet and Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, would provide incentives to produce and sell new renewable products made from biomass and other renewable sources.

Manar said the state is strategically poised to lead the development of new renewable products and that there's potential for Decatur to be at the center of a new $20 billion biotechnology industry.

The proposed legislation would provide a state tax credit to Illinois companies that produce and sell new manufactured products made from bio-based molecules of biomass feedstocks. Those products, including renewable chemicals and food additives, represent the next generation of advanced biofuels.


Historical Minot mill slated to be removed

The Minot City Council has been working with the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office to demolish a Minot flour mill and make way for a flood protection project.

The building is scheduled to be demolished once proper mitigation is done. Meaning the property will need to be documented. Information on the Minot Industrial Historic District will also need to be updated by a qualified architectural historian.

The mill, which was purchased in 1904 by William Dunnell and other Minnesota businessmen and produced flour, has been important point in Minot for different products, including food and lumber. It was most recently used by Souris Valley Feed and Seed.


International Mastitis reference book expanded

National Mastitis Council (NMC) released its third edition of the Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis. A 148-page book for laboratory diagnosticians, veterinarians, educators, students, researchers, technical specialists and dairy producers, it discusses the basic theories of microbial culture, mastitis diagnosis and pathogens, laboratory procedures and molecular pathogen diagnosis methods. Previous editions were published in 1987 and 1999.

The new Chapter 4 addresses molecular techniques, while mycoplasmas are discussed in Chapter 8. Chapter 12 covers on-farm culture systems.

Users of the previous edition will find the current book’s format similar to the second edition. Microbial culture remains the backbone of mastitis diagnosis. Consequently, microbial culture methods are discussed and have been updated when appropriate.

The book addresses the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques in terms of accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of detection, cost and turnaround time.


GROWMARK, FS offering Pollinator Garden Program to 4-H clubs

Honey bees and other pollinators play an important role in the agricultural ecosystem. These same pollinators are under stress from a number of factors: pests, disease, lack of habitat, and more. The GROWMARK System would like to help 4-H clubs do their part to help sustain and increase honey bee populations.

This is the second year of the program, open to 4-H clubs in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Clubs who participated in the program last year have been automatically re-enrolled in the program.

Clubs are asked to locate a public place and secure permission to plant a pollinator garden prior to filling out an application. This could be in a park, near a school, along a well-traveled road, at the fairgrounds, or any visible location. GROWMARK will provide enough seed to plant a 700 square foot area, as well as educational signage to be placed around the garden.

“Last year, we had nearly 40 clubs participating in the program,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Cooperative Education Specialist. “Growing the number of pollinator gardens this year will help provide even more habitat for bees and other beneficial pollinator species.”

Clubs wishing to participate should fill out the online application by March 31, 2017: Questions may be directed to Karen Jones, or 309-557-6184

:GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative with annual sales of $7 billion (FY 2016 data) providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at